By PLA Team Leader Naomi, with inspiration from PLA Ashlee
“The more you study, the more you know.” This rule is drilled into us from the time we’re little kids. When we do poorly on an assignment, we’re told “study harder next time.” When we’re disappointed by an exam mark, we think “I just didn’t have enough time”.
While it is true that “the more we study, the more we know,” there’s a big part of the lesson that people tend to forget: the relationship isn’t linear and, in fact, it feels quite circular… kind of like a cycle.
1. The bottom (‘I know nothing’): Where you begin, your mind sitting there like a dry sponge, itching to absorb everything. No diagram is too hard to maneuver, no concept too hard to understand, no equation too complicated to memorize.
…Which slowly brings you to stage 2…
2. Midway (‘I know a little’): it’s been a little while since you’ve hit the books, and you’re feeling pretty good about what you know. Don’t let those nagging thoughts about how much you don’t know get in the way.
…Moving right along to stage 3…
3. The top (‘I know everything’): You’re on top of the world. Facts spewing uncontrollably. Quiz you on anything, you’ll know the answer. Practice exams, bring ‘em on!
…Free-falling, a seemingly endless tumble back to stage 1..
- The bottom (‘I know nothing…again!’): Something went wrong. That practice exam was harder than you thought. A friend’s question made you realize you had no idea what you were talking about. How can this be happening!?!
BUT: Here’s the thing, IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD! The moment you question, ‘how can I possibly know nothing?, the moment you wonder how you managed to be so unproductive studying, that moment you fall to the bottom right before an exam: in your head!
So, the next time you feel yourself plummeting down to the bottom of the cycle: pick yourself off the ground, shake it off, and take lots of comfort in knowing that it’s all a part of the process… and it will probably happen again.